Ten top tips when applying for postgraduate study



Little red bridge wrapped in autumn haze

You have considered postgraduate study as an option and decided to apply for a course or courses.

When you start to delve you will see the application process is less joined up than undergraduate  study.

However many of the key decisions you made last time round will be applicable here, such thinking through why you want to do a certain course at a particular university.

Here are 10 top tips to consider before applying.

  1. Having identified course/s of interest check if there are any requirements you need to meet. For example a certain grade at degree level or  relevant work experience.
  2. Make sure you know how, where and when  to apply. Is there is a closing date?
  3. Make a plan …depending on the application process you may be able to apply for more than one course so work out a strategy for this.
  4. Research as much as you can into the chosen courses, the universities and departments …  Masters courses for example are either taught or research so work out which type might suit you. You can apply for both types if you are still making your mind up as applications are sent on an individual basis. Research courses can be a precursor to further research so to PhD level but not everyone will carry on to that stage.
  5. Visit …is there an open day or evening you can attend to find out more? Think beforehand what questions you want to ask? If it is further afield and so not easy to get to is there a ‘virtual open day’  – at least as an intial enquiry.
  6. Insider  views – can you find out what do students say about the course and department?
  7. Are there any notable members of staff  working there who are well regarded in their field? Could they be teaching or supervising your research?
  8. Post course …is there any mention of what people have done after the course? This may be especially  important for vocational courses. Of course recognising  there are no guarantees and it will always depend on supply and demand.
  9. Would you like to apply for deferred entry?  Check what the departmental policy is on this.  If you want some time out they may prefer for you to do this first and  apply when you are ready.
  10. Get a plan together and keep track of your applications. Are you also applying for jobs?

We will look at personal statements and funding  in future blogs. In the meantime look at our careers service website for more help with this and also contact us if you would like to discuss your plans with a Career Development Adviser.


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Pamela Coppola • 22/10/2018

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